Kiwifruit - Actinidia

Where does the Kiwifruit plant come from?
Chinese Goose berry plants originally came from China. Early in the 20th century, some of its seeds were brought to New Zealand. When the fruit became an important export product, its plant was renamed after New Zealand’s famous flightless bird: the Kiwi.
The Actinidia chinensis is an excellent fruit for European climates and its fruits are ready in November. The Kiwi grows and a winding climbing plant.

How can I best prune an Actinidia?
Pruning should be done in December or January. Cut back its new branches. The most recent branches will produce its fruit the next year. If you don’t want the plant to grow too large, it is best to leave 40 centimetres of the new branches. 
How do I care for my Kiwi plant?
This fast grower will grow best when placed against a trellis or pergola. In the spring it needs regular watering to prevent it drying out. Feed it twice a year with concentrated plant fertilizer. Keep in mind that it may take a few years before the Actinidia produces its fruit. The plant needs to ’mature’ first. Generally this will take about three to five years. Before the plant is mature, it is best if you cover it to protect it from frostbite, just to be sure.
When does the Actinidia flower?
The Kiwi flowers in July and August. Its first ripe fruits will appear in early November!
What is the best Location for a Kiwi plant?
The Kiwi needs a warm and sunny spot. The more sun, the sweeter its fruit will be. A South facing garden out of the wind is optimal. Always make sure it is well drained. It is important to check its soil for moisture. Is it still damp? Then do not water it. When a Kiwi plant is getting dry, it will let you know. Drooping leaves are a good indication and mean that you need to water it.
The Kiwi plant is winter tolerant to -12°. It is important to keep this plant dry from September onwards. Provide frost protection during prolonged frosts.

Is the Kiwi suitable as cut flower?
No, the Kiwi does not make a good cut flower, but its fruits are edible. Its sweet/sour fruits are loaded full of vitamins.

  • Winter hardiness:
    -12 degrees

  • Soil types:
    All soil types

  • Moisture levels:
    Keep damp

  • Locations:
    Full sun

  • Height:
    400 centimetres, can easily be trimmed back to desired height

  • Evergreen or deciduous:
    Deciduous

  • Pruning:
    December or January

  • Fertilizing:
    Concentrated plant fertilizer

  • Flower:
    White blossom

  • Flowering period:
    July – August

  • Harvest:
    November

  • Trivia:
    The Kiwi was named after New Zealand’s flightless bird, the Kiwi, once it became an important export product for New Zealand.

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